In the United States, the omicron version has surpassed the delta variant as the most prevalent coronavirus variety: According to data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, omicron was responsible for more than 73% of new cases in the country as of Friday.
Not long afterwards, health officials in Texas reported what is believed to be the country’s first omicron-related death. The unvaccinated guy was over 50 years old and had contracted the coronavirus twice, according to the Harris County Public Health Department, which oversees Houston.
He also had additional underlying health problems, officials stated in a statement. The department received notification of his death Monday afternoon.
New limitations and cancellations in response to the increase of Covid cases
For the week ending Dec. 18, the CDC reported that the prevalence of the delta variant had decreased to little more than 26%. Since July, Delta has been the most prevalent variation in the United States.
In several sections of the country, including New York and New Jersey, as well as parts of the Midwest, South, and Pacific Northwest, the omicron variation accounts for more than 90% of new cases.
“This dramatic increase in omicron infections was anticipated and is consistent with what has been observed globally,” the CDC stated in a statement.
Nonetheless, the rate at which omicron outperformed delta astounded analysts.
“Even for me, this rate of takeoff is remarkable,” said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The version is “breathtakingly quick.”
“It’s incredible how quickly it spreads,” Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccination specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said.
Hospitalization hotspots in the United States, as depicted in five charts
It is unknown whether the omicron variation is less pathogenic than prior strains. Although preliminary evidence indicates that it may be milder, Hanage cautioned that this does not necessarily mean that people may exhale a sigh of relief. Concerns have been raised about the variant’s capacity to avoid the body’s immunological defences and its high transmissibility.
“Consider what would happen if everyone on the planet contracted the common cold at the exact same time. What would occur?” ‘He stated.
Offit stated that there should be “a large number of cases,” given existing Covid-19 vaccinations appear to be less effective at protecting against mild sickness than prior strains were. However, he added, “disproportionately fewer hospitalizations and deaths” should occur.
Omicron rapidly surpassed the previously dominating delta version. The newly discovered highly mutated form was discovered in November in South Africa; the first case was discovered in the United States on Dec. 1.
Additionally, the CDC increased its estimate of omicron’s prevalence to 12% of all new cases for the week ending Dec. 11, up from 3%.